The most interesting thing about the Democratic National Convention's logo isn't obvious at first -- but that doesn't mean it won't have impact.
The Obama campaign is famous for the quality of its visual imaging. In 2008, graphic design played a bigger role in introducing and selling the Democratic candidate than it had in any campaign in the past two decades. This year, one of the most striking visuals was on prominent display all last week: the Democratic National Convention's logo.
This logo, in fact, can tell us a surprising amount about the way the Democratic National Committee is positioning the party going into the election.
To begin with, the Obama "O" -- which has given rise to a number of Democratic visuals, such as the D inside a circle the party uses -- was used as basis of the Convention logo's design:
By borrowing design language from the Obama campaign, the DNC is tying the party the candidate. The graphics for the RNC in Tampa and the Romney-Ryan campaign did not display such a high degree of similarity.
But the most interesting thing about the logo is the way it uses silhouette. Silhouette is, among other things, a way of suggesting features like age, sex, and race without having to definitively assign them. Why? Because, while we can correctly determine factors like gender and age from profiles in silhouette more often than not, our perceptions aren't perfectly accurate. Have you ever had the feeling when looking at a silhouette that you might have a good idea what the figure looks like, but that you can't be positive? The DNC logo evokes that feeling on purpose.